MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Student pharmacists at the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy are going to have a career advantage thanks to a new degree offering.
WVU’s School of Pharmacy and College of Business and Economics have signed an agreement creating the state’s first Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Business Administration (Pharm.D./M.B.A.) dual-degree program for current and future students of the WVU School of Pharmacy.
The new Pharm.D./M.B.A. degree was created to provide student pharmacists with knowledge of business principles to broaden their expertise for those seeking to become leaders, administrators or managers in healthcare systems, community pharmacy practice or in the pharmaceutical industry.
“Providing our student pharmacists with this new degree offering will open the door to career opportunities where financial planning and business acumen are qualities that are needed in certain health care and pharmaceutical industry positions,” Patricia Chase, Ph.D., the Gates Wigner Dean of the WVU School of Pharmacy, said.
The 2012-2013 academic year will be the first year of the new degree program. Student pharmacists will be able to apply to the M.B.A. program in the spring semester of their first year of study in the Pharm.D. professional program and if admitted, will be able to begin studies in the M.B.A. program beginning the fall semester of their second year.
“Student pharmacists will complete requirements for the M.B.A. degree program during the course of their four years of study in the Pharm.D. professional program,” Dr. Chase said. “This collaboration shows the potential that can be achieved when two top-notch programs work together. We are proud to be able offer these programs to our students.”
The Pharm.D./M.B.A. program at WVU is the 47th dual-degree offering of this kind in the approximately 130 schools of pharmacy across the nation.
“The WVU School of Pharmacy and the College of Business and Economics share the philosophy that student pharmacists will be much better equipped to meet the demands of the industry today with the creation of the Pharm.D./M.B.A. degree,” Jose Sartarelli, Ph.D., the Milan Puskar Dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics, said. “There is a very real expectation that pharmacists have knowledge of business principles. This degree program will give participants a competitive edge as they graduate from a pharmacy school that has already established itself as one of the best in the country.”
“This kind of interdisciplinary preparation can be key to a successful future for our students and the people they will serve. Like the partnership between Business and Economics and the School of Medicine on a joint M.D./M.B.A. degree, this is a great example of how WVU is approaching the future creatively and cooperatively,” WVU President James P. Clements, Ph.D., said.
“Our modern healthcare system is complex and dependent upon a team of healthcare professionals who make informed patient-care decisions,” Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., chancellor of health sciences, said. “Pharmacists are key professionals in the healthcare team. They have critical roles in recommending, coordinating and evaluating pharmaceutical treatments. The financial impact of treatment decisions are important policy questions, and our joint Pharm.D./M.B.A. program will expand our student skill sets in finance, business analysis and operations. In so doing, we improve the healthcare team and the healthcare system and give our graduates a competitive edge in the pharmacy workplace.”
The Pharm.D./M.B.A. degree is the fourth cross-disciplinary collaboration for the College of Business and Economics. Programs currently exist between the business school and the College of Law for the J.D./EM.B.A. degree, the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences for the M.S./M.B.A. degree and with the School of Medicine for the M.D./M.B.A. degree.
The WVU College of Business and Economics was recently ranked No. 27 by U.S. News & World Report in faculty credentials and training and No. 33 by the publication for teaching practices and student engagement. The rankings apply to the business school’s online M.B.A. program, which will provide the same faculty to the Pharm.D./M.B.A. program.
The WVU School of Pharmacy was recently ranked No. 26 in the Best Health Schools-Pharmacy category of the U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”
For more information on the Pharm.D./M.B.A. program, visit or

For more information: Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192